Courtesy Noah Berger/UCSFUC San Francisco moved 131 patients from its Parnassus and Mount Zion facilities Sunday.

Transfer of patients to new Mission Bay medical center goes smoothly for UCSF

UC San Francisco completed its move of 131 patients from the Parnassus and Mount Zion facilities to its new $1.5 billion medical center in Mission Bay without incident Sunday, hospital officials said.

It was an emotional day for patients and staff alike, as many doctors and nurses said goodbye to a facility where they had spent most of their careers. Patients, transported one by one in 40 ambulances beginning at 7 a.m., received applause from longtime physicians upon being transferred.

Mark Laret, CEO of the UCSF Medical Center, which includes the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital and UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women's Hospital that all opened Sunday, described the day's sentiment as one of “excitement and relief.”

But there was also some nostalgia, with health care workers scrawling farewell messages on the walls at Parnassus before they left.

“There was a real poignancy and emotion in thinking about the number of lives that had been changed, lives that had been saved and lives that came into being right in those settings,” Laret said of the Parnassus facility.

More than 100 emergency medical personnel assisted with the move, as well as hundreds of UCSF staffers. Among the patients transferred Sunday were five from Mount Zion, and 126 from Parnassus, including several women in labor.

In fact, staffers had not even finished moving patients when the first baby was born that morning at the new women's facility at Mission Bay.

Laret noted that all of the patients transferred Sunday fared well.

“We had some extraordinarily ill patients, and the preparation and timing of the move of those patients was just amazing,” he said. “This isn't what you anticipate when you go into the hospital, that midway through you move from one hospital site to another.”

Patients and their families were dazzled by the modern, light-filled facilities at the new Mission Bay complex, much of which were designed by staff and patients themselves, Laret added.

The final patient moved Sunday was resting comfortably at the Mission Bay site by 3:30 p.m.

“And now we're in business,” Laret said.

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